Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Post Mortem: Stop Talking Cam

Cam Newton showed that he wants to do the right thing this week when he announced that he was going to be full-participation at the combine. He says he wants to be transparent.

Great, maybe he should open his father's bank account, so we have some transparency.

One thing however, is really transparent, he needs to stop participating in interviews.

Newton has managed to erase nearly all of the good-will he amassed with his combine decision in a pair of interviews with Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King and Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel.

Newton told King that “I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon.”

So did Matt Leinart. So did Reggie Bush. Hell, so did LeBron James. Now he’s one of the most despised players in all of professional sports. Hey Cam, if somebody asks you to do a “Decision”-like television show, date a Kardashian or invite some coeds to hang out in your jacuzzi, you might want to pass on that.

Maybe tell your prospective employers that you want to be an NFL quarterback, first.

Newton then told Wetzel (via Twitter), “not to sound arrogant but what I did in 1 year others couldn’t do in their entire collegiate careers.”

Funny, any time somebody starts as sentence with “not to sound arrogant,” it can’t sound anything but. Kind of like saying, “Don’t take this wrong way, but.”

And don’t take this the wrong way, Cam, your recent interviews make you sound like your decision-making ability hasn’t risen past the whole, “hey, maybe nobody will notice if I take this laptop” level you displayed at Florida. And if you think that NFL scouts and executives don’t look at this stuff, guess again.

Ryan Leaf was thought to have better tools than Peyton Manning. But Leaf reportedly blew his interview with the Colts when he told the team he was going to celebrate being drafted by taking his buddies to Las Vegas.

And even if you feel that way, you should be smart enough to know better.

You are just costing yourself money, Cam. Hopefully you have saved all of those dollars that you earned at Auburn.

THE NBA All-Star Game was here in Los Angeles, and in honor of that, I came up with the best basketball players in the NFL. Who do you have?

6. Antwaan Randle El
This spot was originally reserved for Donovan McNabb, who spent two seasons as a reserve guard at Syracuse. But, in concert with coach Mike Shanahan, conditioning is going to be an issue. So the nod goes to Randle El, who played under coach Bob Knight at Indiana. Don’t agree? Well, ask yourself this question: If you were playing pickup and had to chose between McNabb and Randle El, who would you pick?

5. Terrell Owens
Owens played at Tennessee-Chattanooga, and he has gained some juice by playing in all of those celebrity games. He also had a brief stint in the U.S. Basketball League, but yeah, enough said about that.

4. Jimmy Graham
Graham was never much of a scorer, but he was a keen rebounder and one of the top shot blockers during his career at the University of Miami. In fact, Graham ranks eighth in school history in blocks (108). You need to give love for those role-playing guys like Graham, and you can bet he would take most of the current NFL stars one-on-one.

3. Julius Peppers
Peppers was a sixth-man for a pretty good basketball program. You might have heard of it — North Carolina. Peppers averaged 7.1 points and four rebounds per game off the bench, which isn’t bad. But for the athleticism, you would probably like to see some better rebounding numbers.

2. Tony Gonzalez
Gonzalez averaged 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds for California during his junior season, as the Golden Bears advanced all the way to the Sweet 16 in 1997. Gonzalez is one of the more celebrated former hoops players-turned NFL players, and he has shown that he can still get up while dunking footballs over a goal posts after he scores. But he doesn’t get the top spot here.

1. Antonio Gates
You might have never heard this before if you have ever watched a Chargers game on television, but Gates played basketball at Kent State. Oh, that’s right, it’s the only thing they ever talk about. Gates and the Golden Flashes advanced to the Elite 8 in 2002, while he averaged 16 points per game. He averaged 20.6 points per game the following year. Yeah, this is a no-doubter.

AND FINALLY ...

Blake Griffin knows how to dunk. But do you want to know which dunk was the best?

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